Braille Monitor                                             May 2015

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News from the Federation Family

Child Care in Orlando 2015:
If you are a child between the ages of six weeks and twelve years, NFB Camp is the place to be during convention sessions. We have qualified child care professionals providing activities, games, field trips, and a variety of fun experiences for the children. Michelle Chicone, teacher of blind children, will also be working with children and consulting with parents throughout the week.

More information and registration details can be found on the NFB website at <www.nfb.org>, or you can call Carla McQuillan at (541) 653-9153.

Braille Book Fair 2015:
Calling all Braille readers, teachers, and parents! It’s that time again: time to sort through all those boxes of Braille books and donate gently used but no longer needed Braille books to the 2015 Braille Book Fair sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children. Our primary goal is to get more Braille books into the hands of children, youth, and beginning adult readers, so here’s what we need most in our books in good condition: print-Braille picture storybooks, leisure reading (fiction or nonfiction) books, cookbooks, and books about sports.

Children are so hungry for their very own books that every year, despite generous donations of books, most of our books for young children are gone in less than an hour. So begin your search through the boxes in your basement and spare room and get those books shipped to UPS, Braille Book Fair, Attention: Milton Bennett, 8901 Atlantic Avenue, Orlando, FL 32824.

This note comes from this year's coordinator, Krystal Guillory. If you have any questions, contact her at (318) 245-8955 or <kguillory@lcb-ruston.com>.

The Braille Book Fair has become one of the highlights of the convention for many teachers, parents, blind kids, blind parents, and adult beginning Braille readers. But the event could not take place without the help of many dedicated, talented volunteers. And that's where you come in. As a past worker, or simply interested supporter of the Braille Book Fair, I hope you can either volunteer, or give me the contact information for someone that you recommend.

You do not need to work the entire afternoon or evening, but I do ask that you try to work an entire shift. We especially need for people who help customers to come before we open the doors at 5:00 p.m., and to commit to staying until at least 6:30 p.m.

We need volunteers throughout the afternoon and evening for the following shifts and work responsibilities:

10:00 AM to Noon: Open boxes, sort boxes, unpack boxes. Sort and clean-up empty boxes for re-use, tape together new boxes.

Noon to 2:00 PM: Open boxes, sort boxes, unpack boxes. Sort and clean-up empty boxes for re-use, tape together new boxes.

2:00 to 3:30 PM: Sort books, pair up volumes, weed out and/or toss unusable books or other materials. Some good Braille readers are especially needed for this shift. We also need runners to take boxes, books, etc. to other locations in the room as they are needed.

3:30 to 4:30 PM: Continue sorting, display books on tables, store overflow books on floor and under tables. Some good Braille readers are especially needed for this shift. We also need runners to take boxes, books, etc. to other locations in the room as they are needed.

4:30 to 5:00 PM: Choose a section of tables to work, familiarize yourself with the titles, and shift volumes around if needed. Some good Braille readers are especially needed for this shift. We also need runners to take boxes, books, etc. to other locations in the room as they are needed.

5:00 to 7:00 PM: The Event, Job A: Assist customers with locating books, and make sure customers take all volumes of a title. Act as a “talking sign” for categories on your tables. Serve as a mentor to those who look as if they need assistance. Place more books on the tables as space becomes available. Some good Braille readers are especially needed for this shift. We also need runners to take boxes, books, etc. to other locations in the room as they are needed.

5:00 to 7:30 PM: The Event, Job B: Pack books up for customers for shipping to their homes. Write labels, stamp "Free Matter" on boxes, tape up boxes, and stack boxes.

6:30 to 8:00 PM: (We are frequently done by 7:00 PM.) Clean up trash. Toss or box up leftover books. Label boxes for shipment back to NFB. Stack boxes and/or move them for later pick-up by UPS.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Braille Book Fair, email Krystal Guillory at <kguillory@lcb-ruston.com> or call (318) 245-8955. In your message, please give your name, your cell phone number that you will have at convention, the state you live in, the shift you would like to work, and your Braille skills (including if you read by touch or by sight as a sighted person). If you are a parent of a blind child under the age of eighteen (or still in high school or below), we know that you will want to attend the NOPBC Annual Meeting which takes place just before the Braille Book Fair, but we would welcome your help either during the event or on the clean-up shift after the event.

Cancer Survivors, We Are Here:
The National Federation of the Blind Cancer Survivors Support Group’s purpose is to help all cancer survivors get well, stay well, provide preventive measures, create a platform for cohesive dialogue and help provide accessibility to information that may enhance the lives of cancer survivors.

Our primary goal is to make sure that blind cancer survivors have information in accessible format, i.e. Braille, large print, or electronic format. Membership is free so join today by emailing Isaiah Nelson at <isaiahn57@icloud.com> or call (803) 735-0821.

The National Federation of the Blind Cancer Survivors has launched a mailing list. The list is sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind. To join the list, go to <http://www.nfbnet.org/ mailman/listinfo/nfb-cancer-survivors_nfbnet.org> or send an email to <nfb-cancer-survivors-request@nfbnet.org> and put “subscribe” in the subject line. If you have technical problems, please contact David Andrews at <david.andrews@nfbnet.org>.

Stay in the know on cancer information, conference calls, events, resources etc. A monthly prize will be given to the NFB Cancer Survivor who participates on the mailing list.
Participants may win only once per year.

The first twenty-five members of the National Federation of the Blind Cancer Survivors Support Group to register for the National Federation of the Blind 2015 National Convention in Orlando, Florida, will receive a special gift at the meeting of the NFB Cancer Survivors Support Group. To redeem your gift you must show your 2015 National Federation of the Blind National Convention registration badge at the meeting.

Show your support for the NFB Cancer Survivors by joining us at our “Fiesta Table” at the 2015 National Federation of the Blind Banquet, Friday, July 10, 2015. Banquet tickets are only $60 each. If you can't attend, sponsor a Federationist by donating $60 to the National Federation of the Blind. If you want to join the NFB Cancer Survivors at the “Fiesta Table,” be sure to get your banquet ticket to Isaiah Nelson for the exchange by 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 7. NFB Cancer Survivors who RSVP by June 5  to dine with us at the “Fiesta Table” will receive maracas to shake and let the world know “We Are Here!” RSVP by emailing <isaiahn57@icloud.com> or call (803) 735-0821.

The NFB Cancer Survivors Support Group will host its annual meeting, date and location to be announced, so be sure you are signed up for the NFB Cancer Survivors mailing list. The first fifty attendees of the NFB Cancer Survivors meeting will receive gift bags. We will customize your bag with your choice of Braille or large print literature if you RSVP for the annual meeting by emailing <isaiahn57@icloud.com> or call (803) 735-0821.

We want your "Fighting Cancer Story" to create a book of support for those walking the cancer journey with us. Forward your story today to <issiahn57@icloud.com>. We want to meet you.

The 6 Dot Dash Comes to Your Community:
On June 7, 2015, the National Federation of the Blind will once again be holding its 6 Dot Dash: A 6K to Advance Braille Literacy! Although not everyone will be able to join us at our headquarters in Federal Hill to participate in our third annual 6 Dot Dash through the Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore, anyone can still participate as a virtual runner to assist members and friends of the National Federation of the Blind by making a donation to ensure that blind students have access to the necessary services and supports to cross the literacy finish line. Just follow these simple steps to register as a 6 Dot Dash Virtual Runner or to become a member of a team.

First, go to our Dot Dash webpage at <www.nfb.org/dot-dash>, and read the information about our event. Click the "Register Today!" link to begin the registration. Rather than completing the runner registration information, go directly to the "Enter donation" edit field, and enter the amount of your donation. Then click the "Order Now" link.

On the next page you should enter your name, email address, credit card information, and billing information so that we can process your donation. Then, under the "Ticket 1 - Donations/Additional Donation" heading, enter the name, phone, email, and mailing address of the virtual runner. If you are a member of a team, be sure to enter or select your team name in the dropdown box after supplying the information requested under the "Other Information" heading.

Finally, you should check the "I agree to the above waiver" checkbox in order to authorize payment on the credit card. Then click the "Pay Now" link to make your donation and register as a virtual runner to help blind students cross the literacy finish line.

Research has demonstrated that blind people who know and use Braille have higher rates of employment, self-confidence, and general social integration. Yet, only 10 percent of blind children are receiving instruction in Braille in public schools. Additionally, there are not enough programs to teach Braille to blind adults. We need to move quickly to reverse this trend and establish stronger literacy programs. The 6 Dot Dash is one means of ensuring that we do not leave the blind behind.

For decades the National Federation of the Blind, the country's oldest and largest organization of the blind, has been the leading champion of Braille literacy. Offering a wealth of resources and knowledge, the NFB's Braille literacy program is the most comprehensive of its kind. Every day the NFB raises the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams.

Assistive Technology Trainers Division to Meet at National Convention:
The Assistive Technology Trainer’s Division will meet on Tuesday, July 7, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Join us for lively discussions about the current state of Google Docs, NVDA, Windows 10, working with people who have multiple disabilities, and other subjects of interest. Dues are $5.00. Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the meeting will start promptly at 7:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there.

Video Educates Policemen in Albuquerque:
During the 2014 White Cane Banquet in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Police Chief Gordon Eden agreed to the creation of a video explaining the White Cane Law which will be shown to rookie officers. Don Burns, co-chair of the White Cane Committee and the person who arranged for the police chief to attend the banquet, was the spokesperson on the video. Because of scheduling problems the video was not created until March 12, 2015. During this meeting Don went through the law in detail, outlining how it was first passed in New Mexico as the result of efforts on the part of President Lyndon Johnson and New Mexico’s then-Governor David Cargo. This was a bipartisan effort and was the beginning of annual acknowledgements by the president, most governors, and many local mayors.

The National Federation of the Blind has perpetuated the annual observation of this important law. October 15 has been designated as White Cane Safety Day, and numerous efforts by Federation chapters throughout the country describe how the law protects the rights of blind people using either white canes or guide dogs as they traverse public streets. It also protects the right of such individuals seeking entrance to restaurants or other public facilities.

The video will be shown not only to officers in training but will also be seen in all substations twice a month. Chief Eden also supports us and joins in our concerns about quiet cars. Another issue addressed at the banquet was the lack of a question about the white cane in the current drivers’ manual. He has agreed to work with us to see that this manual is updated.

In Brief

Notices and information in this section may be of interest to Monitor readers. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information; we have edited only for space and clarity.

GE Works to Design Braille Kit for Artistry™ Electric Range:
The simplicity of GE’s Artistry™ series of appliances—an affordable suite of appliances targeted to first-time homebuyers and millennials—lends itself to a unique market segment: the visually impaired. Working with students from the Kentucky School for the Blind, GE engineers and designers in Louisville, Kentucky, developed an accessory kit of Braille overlays for the new Artistry electric range controls that allows the visually impaired to use its cooktop and oven functions.

According to an American Foundation for the Blind article, stoves are the least accessible class of appliances. Many ranges today have smooth push buttons on a back control panel. The ADA-compliant Artistry range offers front-control knobs that are within reach and a straightforward design that lends itself to a Braille accessory kit for the blind or visually impaired.

“Both my parents taught special education,” says Lee Lagomarcino, a GE product manager who initially championed the project and observed Kentucky School for the Blind students interacting with ranges. “As we developed the Artistry electric range, we knew its simplicity made it more universally appealing and ideal for a Braille application.”

Students from the Kentucky School for the Blind helped the GE team determine what was needed—a high, medium, and low heat setting for the cooktop, and a low, 350 degree, and broil option for the oven. With those readily accessible features to serve as a baseline, the oven can be adjusted to a recipe as needed.

A focus group of students at the school came up with ways to make ranges more user friendly—using puffy paint and brightly contrasting colors to showcase their ideas. GE took those ideas and turned them into the custom-designed Braille kit. Students also tested the initial designs for ease of use.

Kentucky School for the Blind Program Coordinator Paula Penrod said, “Many times, manufacturers will introduce a new product, then seek comments from consumers with disabilities. Consumers who are blind and visually impaired have unique needs when using appliances. By working with GE during the production stage, our students were able to demonstrate the type of Braille modifications that would be most helpful. We appreciate GE for seeking our students’ input on the front end of GE’s Artistry range project.”

As a thank you to the Kentucky School for the Blind and its students for their help, GE donated a full suite of Artistry kitchen appliances to the school’s campus on Frankfurt Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky.

The GE Artistry electric ranges and Braille kits are available in black and white and can be purchased nationwide where GE appliances are sold. For help locating a dealer, go to <www.GEAppliances.com> and use the Dealer Locator tool or call the GE Answer Center at (800) 626-2000. The estimated retail price of the Artistry electric range is $599, and the Braille kit is $15.75, however, prices may vary by retailer.

In addition to the Braille kits for ranges, GE offers a standard Braille kit for common buttons on its microwave ovens. The kit can be ordered where GE appliances are sold.

Department of Education Improves Accessibility of Student Loan Process:
Paragraph 3(b) of the agreement entered into between the US Department of Education and the National Federation of the Blind provides as follows:

The department shall, beginning as soon as practicable, but no later than ninety days after the effective date of this agreement, start to conduct outreach to blind and visually impaired borrowers. Through these efforts the department shall provide information about and solicit input concerning the accessibility of its websites and those of its servicers, the procedure for requesting alternative formats for student loan-related materials, and how to report problems with accessibility. The outreach shall be conducted using the department’s websites, as well as by posting notices in such publications as the Braille Monitor, as well as through other publications for blind, visually impaired, and large-print readers and newsletters published by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  Copies of all draft outreach materials shall be provided to counsel for complainants for prior review and comment no later than sixty days after the effective date of this agreement. Counsel for complainants shall provide any feedback within forty-five days.

The department, consistent with its commitment to making its student loan resources and services accessible to all borrowers, has begun the implementation of its new standards for web accessibility; telephonic access; Word, PDF, and hard copy documents, forms, statements, and publications. The new standards are designed to:           

Students and borrowers are encouraged to contact their loan servicers to obtain information regarding the availability of alternative formats.  To locate loan servicer information on your federal student loan, log in to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) or contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at (800) 4-FED-AID—(800) 433-3243—Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM Eastern time.  For additional contact options and other general information, visit <https://www.StudentAid.gov>.

To report problems regarding the accessibility of student loan websites, documents, forms, statements, or publications, borrowers may either: submit a complaint through a link on the department’s website; or file a formal complaint with the department pursuant to 34 C.F.R § 105.41.

New National Library Service for the Blind and Handicapped Website:
That All May Read is the long-standing motto of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, a free library service. People with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or other physical disabilities that prevent them from reading or using printed materials are eligible to enroll in the Braille and Talking Book program, which offers a wide variety of reading materials at no charge.

The new NLS website, <www.loc.gov/ThatAllMayRead>, has information about the service and features a video with nine NLS patrons talking about their experiences with the program. The website will be updated regularly, so check back frequently to see what is new. Encourage those who may be eligible for NLS services, or who know people who are, to visit the site and learn more. Spread the word so that all may read.

<#ThatAllMayRead>, the motto of the NLS, <@The Library of Congress>, is the new campaign theme describing NLS's Braille and Talking Book program. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter as well as using the main website to keep informed about what’s new with the NLS.
 
Computers for the Blind Receives Grant from the Delta Gamma Foundation:
Computers for the Blind (CFTB) a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization located in Richardson, Texas, is pleased to announce the receipt of a generous grant from the Delta Gamma Foundation to provide seventy-five accessible desktop computers and monitors for $40 to people who are on SSI due to their blindness. The regular fee for a desktop is $110. Laptops are $160.

For more information about the machines distributed by Computers for the Blind, see the April 2015 issue of the Braille Monitor.

Monitor Mart

The notices in this section have been edited for clarity, but we can pass along only the information we were given. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the statements made or the quality of the products for sale.

Spread the Word with The Heart of Applebutter Hill:
Please purchase the educator-recommended novel The Heart of Applebutter Hill, which features a fourteen-year-old blind heroine, for your local public and school libraries and as gifts. Doing so will help in several ways: it will raise awareness about the capabilities of blind people, the challenges we face, and the common humanity we all share; if we sell enough copies to garner some significant national press coverage, NLS will include it in their collection; if not, every dime I receive from sales is going to a fund to have it Brailled and distributed to blind students to encourage Braille literacy.

The Heart of Applebutter Hill is available in print and Kindle from Amazon: <http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1483948226>, or through most online ebook outlets, including: Nook Book <http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-heart-of-applebutter-hill-donna-w-hill/1115426305?ean=2940016415000&itm=1&usri=2940016415000>; Apple iTunes <https:// itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-heart-of-applebutter-hill/id651693834?mt=11>; and Smashwords (7 formats including .epub, .rtf, .mobi and .pdf) <http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/ 313071?ref=DonnaWHill>.

Readers with print disabilities can find The Heart of Applebutter Hill on Bookshare: <http://www.bookshare.org/browse/book/639304>.

Audio Described Workouts:
Descriptive exercise routines are now available from BlindAlive. Current offerings include two levels of cardio, two sculpting with weights, a boot camp-style workout classes, and a stability ball workout, with others planned for the near future. Workouts can either be downloaded to your computer or purchased on CD. For more information, you may visit BlindAlive on the web: <www.BlindAlive.com>, send email to <support@BlindAlive.com>, or leave a message for a return call at (570) 212-9979.

For Sale:
HIMS Braille Edge 40-cell Braille display and a HumanWare BrailleNote QT 32-cell Apex with compatible Sendero GPS. Both come with AC adapters, have been used sparingly, have excellent Braille cells and batteries, can work independently as notetakers, have the latest firmware, and work very well with Voiceover and most Windows screen-reading software. Asking $1,700 for each, including shipping. Email David Van Der Molen at <dvm975@gmail.com> if interested.

NFB Pledge

I pledge to participate actively in the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind to achieve equality, opportunity, and security for the blind; to support the policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its constitution.

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